IDF discovers multi-level ‘oxygen’ tunnels under Egypt border

Egypt was apparently unaware of the infrastructure


Israeli ground troops operating in the Rafah area of southern Gaza, June 1, 2024 (Credit: IDF)

During its operation in Rafah in southern Gaza, the Israel Defence Forces has uncovered an extensive network of tunnels running under the border with Egypt, some of which have three levels.

The existence of these multi-level tunnels has surprised the Israeli military and security establishments. They have been described as “Hamas’ oxygen pipeline,” and likely allowed the group to significantly enhance its capabilities since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, an Israeli official told Israel Hayom.

The sophisticated infrastructure was undetected not only by Israel but also apparently by Egypt.

The IDF is expanding its search perimeter around the Philadelphi Corridor, a strip of land running along the border on the Gaza side, operating under the assumption that more tunnels remain hidden.

Approximately three weeks ago, The Washington Post reported that Israel had identified 20 tunnels crossing into Egypt under the Philadelphi Corridor, with the IDF having destroyed 14 of them. The report suggested that an estimated 20 more tunnels may still be undiscovered.

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